Is Binge Watching Bad For Your Health?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever binge-watched a TV show? There’s my hand hand, raised as high as it can go. I will admit that I love binge-watching a series as much as the next person.
In fact, when the made for Netflix docuseries “The Keepers” was released, I delightfully completed all 7 hours and 24 minutes in, well, 7 hours and 24 minutes.
But is binging for hours on end really that great for your health? Some studies suggest otherwise, stating that binging for extended periods of time can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness, according to The Guardian.
In 2007 Netflix became the golden god of TV when it released its streaming services to the public. There it was, full seasons of popular TV shows, and the best part was you never had to leave your house to get the next season from Blockbuster.
Instead, you could snuggle into your pajamas, grab popcorn and watch an entire season of Mad Men if your heart desired. The birth of binging was born, and people loved it.
No more waiting a whole week *gasp* for the next episode to air. And if you play your cards right and miss the season altogether you can just wait for it to be released on Netflix and binge the whole thing in one weekend.
Although little research has been done outside of private research firms, a study conducted at Texas A&M University concluded that people who binge-watch have a hard time stopping, suggesting binge-watching could be an addictive behavior, according to The Guardian.
And scientific studies have long showed that excessive TV watching can lead to obesity and health related issues such as diabetes. Some studies even show a pattern in binge-watchers reporting feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
As to whether or not binge-watching Netflix for 48 hours straight is the direct cause of depression is still unknown.
Some researchers believe those who reported feelings of anxiety or depression could be using TV as a therapeutic release, and that binging is not the direct cause to what might be a preexisting condition.
Like many things in life, it seems the overall consensus on bing-watching is moderation.
Basically, when the Netflix prompt asks if you’re still watching, it might be a good idea to exit out.